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How to Kill Wild Onion Easily and Effectively? (2023)

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Wild onion is a pesky weed that’s hard to control. It spreads quickly through seed or bulblets and can become an eyesore. To get rid of it, you can use herbicides or boiling water. Here’s how to kill wild onion plants effectively.

Why it’s hard to control:

  • Spreads quickly through seed or bulblets
  • Becomes an eyesore

Methods for getting rid of it:

  • Use herbicides
  • Boil water

Tips for prevention:

  • Don’t let it spread in the first place
  • Regularly check for wild onion plants
  • Take steps to remove it as soon as you spot it

Identification of Wild Onion Plants

how to kill wild onion
Wild onions can be difficult to identify and control in gardens and lawns. To recognize them, look for thin, waxy leaves that grow from white bulbs.

If you spot wild onions near your other plants, it’s important to learn how to kill them quickly before they spread too far.

Characteristics of Wild Onions

You may find wild onions growing in your garden or lawn. Identified by their thin, waxy spear-like leaves and white bulbs, one family found an entire clump of them thriving in a corner of their flower bed.

Organic control includes hand weeding and cultural control like mowing to reduce plant growth. Herbicide selection is also effective, with postemergence herbicides providing consistent results when used over two years, combined with weed prevention measures for best long-term management.

Garden maintenance practices like fall tillage can help reduce infestations. Organic methods like boiling water will kill any plants it touches, but they’re edible if not treated with a chemical herbicide.

Effective weed prevention requires timing: spring before plants go to seed, or late fall when the soil is moist, so stems and bulbs can be removed without leaving any bulblets behind. This makes persistence key for successful treatment.

Chemical treatments alone often don’t work, since wild onions have a thin waxy covering which prevents most herbicides from penetrating.

Now you know how to identify and control wild onions.

How to Identify Wild Onions

To identify wild onions, look for thin waxy spear-like leaves growing from white bulbs in clumps or hard-to-mow places. These are usually found alongside wild garlic, which has round and hollow leaves. Controlling wild onions is difficult due to their underground bulb structure, which can easily break apart when pulled out with a spade or trowel.

Poisoning options, such as non-selective herbicides, boiling water, and natural remedies, are all viable methods. Chemical treatments may be needed for larger infestations.

Cultural methods like trimming should also be used if unable to treat an area without killing other plants nearby. Regular inspection and removal of any new onion growths is key for successful control over time.

With proper lawn care management, including repeat applications of appropriate herbicides at the right times, along with tillage practices, will ensure optimal results throughout the year against these pesky intruders!

Methods to Get Rid of Wild Onions

Methods to Get Rid of Wild Onions
Don’t hand-pull wild onions and garlic; it’ll only spread the bulbs or bulblets. Use a combination of non-selective herbicides or boiling water to kill them off. Keep an eye on the area and repeat treatment if needed. Fall tillage in vegetable gardens can reduce infestations during winter months.

Don’t Hand-pull Wild Onion or Garlic

Don’t make the mistake of trying to hand-pull wild onions or garlic; it can leave behind parts that will grow back.

Mowing these weeds regularly, using weed barriers, fertilizers, soil testing kits and mulching are all effective methods for controlling them.

If you need a more aggressive approach, chemical herbicides may be necessary. When applying with a pump-type sprayer, add 1/2 tsp of nonionic surfactant per gallon of water to improve coverage on the waxy leaves and ensure it penetrates deep into the plant tissue.

Be sure to read any product labels carefully before application. Determine if it’s safe for use on your species of turfgrass, and at what rate it should be applied for best results. Some products require multiple treatments over several seasons for control.

No single solution will work every time when dealing with wild onion or garlic, so persistence is key.

How to Kill Wild Onion and Garlic

Remove as much of the clump with a spade/trowel. Treat area with non-selective herbicide. Boiling water. Monitor area regularly. Trim plants if unable to treat. Use postemergence herbicides. Fall tillage. Pulling. Mowing. Spray more than once. Repeat application. Apply three-way broadleaf.

Glyphosate. Imazaquin. Celsius WG Herbicide. Image Nutsedge Killer Concentrate & RTS 17.2, 4-D. Dicamba. MCPP. Metsulfuron.

Take action to control wild onion and garlic in your lawn or garden by using a combination of methods. Practice alternative controls such as soil aeration, proper mowing and fertilization, and other cultural methods such as mulching. Chemical herbicides are the best way to eliminate existing weeds.

The key element in controlling these persistent weeds is persistence—the process must be repeated several times over several years before they disappear completely!

How to Help Prevent Wild Onion and Garlic

Take action now to help prevent wild onion and garlic from returning in your lawn or garden by using a combination of methods. To control the spread, consider introducing natural enemies such as nematodes or parasitic wasps that feed on these weeds – they attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, provide food for wildlife, and can be eaten if not treated with chemical herbicides.

Chemical solutions include non-selective herbicides applied in fall followed by repeat applications in spring over two years which will provide consistent results for bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipede lawns etc. Cultural practices like fall tillage can reduce infestations of wild garlic while pulling is an option for small number of weeds; however bulbs may remain underground leading to regrowth later on.

Other options include treating areas with boiling water or trimming them regularly if you can’t use chemicals on edible plants. Keeping this in mind is key before deciding the next step towards successful controlling/killing of wild onions & garlic:

  • Hand pull clumps as much as possible without removing it from the ground
  • Treat area with non-selective herbicide/boiling water but keep it away from other plants
  • Keep a close eye and repeat the process when new ones emerge
  • Avoid applying any preemergence herbicide (doesn’t work)
  • Mow immediately before spraying postemergence one multiple times
  • Apply three way 2 4D dicamba mecoprop (MCPP) broadleaf product
  • Use glyphosate effectively but selectively outside turf area
  • Monitor effectiveness through inspection during winter/spring

With effective implementation planning, you’re now ready to take effective steps towards killing those pesky invaders – wild onion and garlic!


Controlling wild onion can be tough. Its waxy leaves and ability to spread make it difficult.

Removing clumps with a spade or trowel, treating the area with an herbicide or boiling water, and keeping an eye on new growths should help. With persistence, you can keep your garden safe from overgrowth.

Good luck!

Why Wild Onion is Difficult to Control

Controlling wild onion and garlic can be a challenge due to their thin, waxy leaves, which make it difficult for herbicides to penetrate. When the bulbs break apart easily they are able to spread quickly throughout an area.

That’s why proper cultural practices such as manual removal of the tops of wild garlic or onion should be used when possible. This reduces any potential environmental impact from using herbicides that may also kill desirable plants. It also helps prevent any issues with resistance from developing over time since fewer chemicals will need to be used.

Continuing these practices is essential for maintaining control and preventing future outbreaks throughout your garden or lawn area. There are no preemergence herbicides available for controlling wild onions and garlic, so effective treatment must begin during late fall before the plant goes into seed production. Mowing immediately prior application can improve efficacy by helping penetration of chemical through its waxy cuticle layer. This makes it easier for successful management without respraying year after year.

3 Steps to Control Wild Onions

Take control of your garden or lawn with these three simple steps to keep wild onions and garlic under control!

Start with cultural control, such as mulching, natural predators, and solarization technique.

If this isn’t enough, use a glyphosate-based product for spot treating early in spring. Herbicides containing 2,4-D; dicamba; and mecoprop (MCPP) are also effective against wild onion when applied in late fall for repeat applications over two years.

For best results, use a combination of methods and don’t forget: persistence is key!

Suggested Herbicides for Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, and Centipedegrass

Suggested Herbicides for Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, and Centipedegrass
If you’re looking for a way to kill wild onions in your bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, or centipedegrass lawns, Imazaquin, Celsius WG Herbicide, and homeowner products containing metsulfuron are the herbicides for you. These powerful products provide effective control of wild garlic and wild onion. Repeat applications over two years give the best results.

They’re designed to penetrate the thin waxy leaves of these weeds, making them ideal for quickly and effectively getting rid of them.


Imazaquin is an effective herbicide for controlling wild onions or garlic in bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and centipedegrass lawns. It penetrates through the plants’ waxy leaves, reaching down into their bulbous roots beneath the surface, eliminating them completely. Coupled with other cultural practices, such as mechanical removal and weed barriers, it becomes even more powerful. You don’t have to worry about using Roundup or other difficult-to-use biological controls that may not work on round hollow wild garlic leaves – just spray it directly onto affected areas.

So you can keep your garden looking great while enjoying peace of mind knowing that imazaquin will help protect against future outbreaks. Paired with proper maintenance techniques, like mowing prior to application, it’ll give you long lasting results. Making transitioning into Celsius WG Herbicide’s capabilities all the smoother.

Celsius Wg Herbicide

Take your garden to the next level with Celsius WG Herbicide, providing long-lasting protection against wild onion and garlic outbreaks. Control this pesky weed requires a combination of prevention tips, soil management and cultural techniques like mowing or pulling out bulbs. Biological control is also available but can be time consuming, so chemical control is often seen as the easier option.

Celsius WG Herbicide is an effective choice for controlling wild onions in your lawns. It penetrates through their thin waxy leaves and targets both aboveground shoots and underground bulbs for up to 90 days after application.

Here’s a 4-step plan on how best to use it:

  1. Apply before plants go into seed in early spring or late fall when temperatures are cool.
  2. Make sure spray coverage is adequate so all parts of the plant come into contact with the herbicide.
  3. Treat again if new shoots appear from leftover seeds or bulblets.
  4. Follow-up treatments may be necessary, depending on severity. Mix 2% Roundup solution if needed.

With proper application techniques, Celsius WG provides reliable protection against future infestations – helping ensure strong results over multiple seasons without risking damage to other plants nearby.

Homeowner Products Containing Metsulfuron

Take control of wild onion and garlic outbreaks in your garden with homeowner products containing metsulfuron. Organic solutions such as natural alternatives may not be enough to completely eliminate the problem, so chemical control is needed for complete eradication.

Spot treatments using herbicides like metsulfuron or Roundup can help get rid of wild onions quickly and effectively when used according to label directions. When applying a herbicide, it’s important to thoroughly coat all leaves on the plant; this will ensure that chemicals penetrate through its waxy cuticle layer for maximum effectiveness.

Homeowner products are available in small sizes that make spot treatments easy without having a large amount left over after use has been completed.

By incorporating these organic solutions along with chemical controls into an overall strategy, you’ll have better chances at successfully controlling wild onion before they become too established in your garden landscape – something we know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Suggested Herbicides for Both Cool Season and Warm Season Turf

Suggested Herbicides for Both Cool Season and Warm Season Turf
Take control of your yard with three-way broadleaf herbicides containing 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. Enjoy a lush landscape free of wild onion without the hassle! Manual removal can be tedious and time consuming, so an alternative approach is needed.

These effective products are designed for both cool season turf like fescue grasses, and warm season varieties like bermudagrass or zoysiagrass:

  1. Imazaquin
  2. Celsius WG Herbicide
  3. Homeowner products containing metsulfuron

Apply these treatments in early summer when aerial bulblets have emerged from the soil, and repeat in spring over two years for consistent results. This will reduce wild onions quickly while minimizing damage to other plants around it, by controlling their growth before they go into seed dispersal mode.

With proper application methods, you can keep your lawn looking beautiful all year round!

Suggested Herbicides for Non-turf Areas

Suggested Herbicides for Non-turf Areas

If you’re looking to control wild onion in non-turf areas, glyphosate is an effective herbicide. Make sure it’s the weed you’re trying to kill though. It has thin waxy leaves and white bulbs, so it’s easy to identify.
With the right products and techniques, you can successfully get rid of this pest.

Apply them properly and you’ll be rid of this weed in your landscape.


For a quick and easy solution to your wild onion woes, try using glyphosate – it’s an effective non-selective herbicide that will get the job done without harming nearby plants. It’s organic, so you can feel good about using its natural ingredients for control of wild onions. It kills the leaves as well as bulbs, making it an ideal choice when mechanical removal or mulching techniques are not possible.

Cultural practices such as preventive measures may be combined with glyphosate to reduce weed populations in areas prone to infestation with wild onions. Roundup is one of many brands containing glyphosate which can be used effectively on these weeds.

With diligent monitoring and proper application rates, this method offers a safe and reliable way for controlling Wild Onions while protecting other desirable vegetation close by!

Transitioning into identifying Wild Onion requires understanding their characteristics – thin waxy leaves growing from white bulbs spread by forming bulblets or seed.

Identifying Wild Onion

To identify Wild Onion, look out for thin, waxy leaves growing from white bulbs that spread by making bulblets or seed. It’s as easy as pie! These clumps of wild onion can be a wide-spread problem in gardens and lawns. They have an onion odor when disturbed, which is unique to the plant. Their leaves are typically flat and solid, compared to round and hollow Wild Garlic leaves. If left untreated with chemical herbicides, they may even be edible!

Non-chemical prevention strategies include using soil amendments or light requirements to reduce growth opportunities for surviving wild onion plants. Mulching techniques may also prove effective at controlling these weeds over time. Use all these methods together, combined with regular inspection of your garden or lawn area, so you can address any new infestations early on before the issue becomes more widespread. It’s important not only to prevent, but also actively manage existing problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are wild onions toxic to pets?

If you have wild onions growing on your property, it’s important to know if they’re toxic to pets. Wild onions can produce small bulblets that spread quickly and may be hard to remove without a little hard work. Chemical treatments may be necessary for complete removal, but natural repellents like vinegar or salt water can help control them.

If ingestion does occur, pet toxicity symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s best avoided altogether. These plants also have an environmental effect when used improperly with chemicals; new growths may emerge even after treatment, requiring additional work for safe removal.

Knowing how to manage wild garlic and onion safely will keep your pets healthy while preserving the environment around them!

How long does it take for herbicides to work on wild onions?

Controlling wild onions can be challenging, but with the right strategies and timing you can get rid of them for good. Weed resistant organic solutions like mulching techniques are great prevention methods that won’t harm your lawn or garden.

If chemical control is necessary, applying herbicides following a summer when hollow leaves have developed will help ensure effective eradication of wild onion plants. As this process requires persistence due to the waxy cuticle on their leaves preventing penetration by herbicides, it may take several applications over multiple seasons for total success in removing these pesky weeds from your landscape!

Can I apply herbicides on a newly seeded lawn?

Controlling wild onion in your newly seeded lawn requires careful consideration and preventative measures. Like a lion waiting to ambush its prey, herbicides can be lethal if applied too soon or incorrectly. So it’s important to know when to use them as part of an integrated approach, including cultural control and chemical control methods. Identifying the weed is key, since wild onions often hide among flower beds or difficult-to-mow areas with thin waxy leaves, making it hard for herbicide penetration. But you can still apply a safe application of postemergence herbicides at full strength, after adding a nonionic surfactant such as glyphosate. Keep an eye on the area afterwards for any regrowth.

Is it possible to get rid of wild onions without using herbicides?

Yes, it’s possible to get rid of wild onions without using herbicides. You can create planting barriers to contain them, mulch to suppress their growth, or use solarization methods. You can also burn larger clumps with a flame torch. Cultural practices like hoeing or hand-pulling can also be effective. If all else fails, Roundup Ready-to-Use Weed & Grass Killer II Concentrate Plus might do the trick if used according to product instructions, but take care not to overuse it.

Is there a risk of killing other plants when using herbicides on wild onions?

When it comes to controlling wild onions, using herbicides is often necessary. But there’s a risk of also harming other plants. To minimize this impact and avoid killing desired vegetation, always follow label instructions carefully and use a non-ionic surfactant. This will help the herbicides stick to the thin waxy leaves. Cultural practices like removing clumps with spades/trowels or treating areas with boiling water can also be used for control, but they’ll kill nearby plants too, so take precautions.


You’ve now learned how to identify and control wild onion and garlic – two pesky weeds that are difficult to manage. With the right combination of techniques, you can keep these plants from taking over your lawn and garden.

Always read the label and follow directions on any herbicide you use. Treat your lawn and garden in the fall and spring for the best results. You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, weed-free outdoor space.

Allusion is a powerful tool you can use to evoke an emotional response in your audience. Remind yourself how rewarding it can be when you take the time to properly care for your outdoor space and eliminate pesky weeds.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.